What's the best way to stop snoring?
BY: Daryn Eller
The two most common causes of snoring are nasal congestion and excess weight, both of which narrow air passages and constrict the flow of oxygen. If nasal congestion is the culprit, getting treated for allergies can often remedy the problem, says Nilesh Dave, M.D., director of the Sleep and Breathing Disorders Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. If a surplus of pounds is the cause, dropping about 10 percent of your body weight (that’s 13 pounds if you weigh 130) will help get rid of the fatty tissue pressing on your airways and causing snoring.
It’s also possible that you’re simply built with narrow air passages. While there’s not much you can do about anatomy, sometimes just sleeping on your side can quiet the racket. One other instigator: “Alcohol,” says Dr. Dave. “It relaxes the muscles in the back of the throat, tightening the space air needs to flow through.” Hence, snorers, skip the nightcap. If snoring starts to affect the quantity and quality of your sleep, impairing how you function during the day, talk to your doctor, who may be able to offer additional treatments that can help.
Daryn Eller is a frequent contributor to Live Right Live Well and has written for O, Prevention, Health and Natural Health magazines. She lives in Venice, Calif.